London Semester Update

-Madison Wheat, contributing writer

Hello! It’s Madison here, sending cheers from across the pond! Day one quickly turned into day seventy.

I stop to ask myself where in the world the time has gone. I don’t think that any words could adequately describe the experience we have had on this trip. It’s been a whirlwind of excitement, travel, learned-lessons, laughter, and self-discovery. It seems like it was just yesterday when our group exited the Heathrow airport two and a half months ago. And here we are…. sixteen days left on our adventure. It has been the most amazing and influential experience of my life.

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The most recent news on the trip is that we had our lovely spring tour around Scotland, Wales, and England. We hiked through snow-capped mountains, endured hours of bus riding, shopped through market places, experienced life in a hostel, and topped it off by singing along to High School Musical to pass the time.

Members of our program have made some incredible trips on their own as well. Some have ventured to Amsterdam, Germany, Rome, Barcelona, Ireland, Paris, and several other places. Just call us little world travelers! The group has worked together as one and have all become so close. I love how people who would not have crossed paths back at school will end up leaving this trip as best friends. The dynamic of the group has been wonderful and we all get along so well.

One thing that brings me so much joy is knowing that here in London, at any given moment, you could be surrounded by 15 different languages being spoken, 30 different ethnicities, and thousands of different people with their own personal stories. It’s truly beautiful.

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Though life here has been nothing but high-paced and busy, London taught me to stop and breathe. London taught me to stop and look around, and take out the earphones. London taught me to stop and smile at my over-worked waitress, or the old woman selling newspapers, or the man at the smoothie bar. London taught me to stop and listen; to listen to the voices and languages, to listen to the songs being sung by street performers or underground artists, to listen to the millions of sounds coming from every direction. London taught me to stop dwelling on the little things, the petty things, the insignificant things. London taught me to stop being self-consumed and start loving on those who the Lord has put around me. London taught me to stop being so future-minded and enjoy, savor, and love where He has placed me in the moment. It’s easy to get caught up in making plans or looking forward to what’s next. Sometimes we just need to stop and breathe and thank God for where we are. Don’t rush the process. I encourage everyone to look into going abroad. It’ll change your life in so many more ways than what I can put into words at this moment. Give me a few months to process and I’ll get back to you. Who knows, you may find your best friend; you may find the Lord; you may find your passion or your calling; and if you’re like me, you may even find yourself.

Read more about Madison’s experience studying abroad in London on her blog: madisonwheat.wordpress.com

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